Champions Cup games to be broadcast free-to-air next season

TV3 on verge of striking a deal with EPCR to bring European Cup back to terrestrial

Saracens are back-to-back Champions Cup winners. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

Saracens are back-to-back Champions Cup winners. Photograph: Billy Stickland/Inpho

 

Champions Cup fixtures are to be shown live on free-to-air television from next season.

According to reports in the Telegraph, TV3 and Channel 4 are on the verge of striking a deal with the EPCR, which would see both broadcasters get at least one pool fixture and potentially some of the knockout stages.

The deal would mean European rugby’s premier club competition will shown on terrestrial television for the first time since 2003.

The rights for the tournament are currently shared between BT Sport and Sky, however the former have signed a new exclusive deal starting from the 2018-19 season through to 2022.

BT’s existing contract is not going to be affected, with the broadcaster understood to be happy to show some games for free in order to try and boost the tournament’s profile.

The Champions Cup returns on Easter weekend, with Munster welcoming Toulon to Thomond Park on March 31st (Sky Sports). Leinster meanwhile face Saracens at the Aviva on April 1st (BT).

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